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"To the Queen" (or "To The Queen by the players") is a short poem attributed to William Shakespeare. It was included in 2007 by Jonathan Bate in his complete Shakespeare edition for the Royal Shakespeare Company. [1]

The poem, written on the back of an envelope, is thought to have been written as an epilogue for a performance of As You Like It given at court on Shrove Tuesday in February 1599. American scholars William Ringler and Steven May discovered the poem in 1972 in the notebook of a man called Henry Stanford, who is known to have worked in the household of the Lord Chamberlain. [2]

It consists of 18 lines. [2]

The complete poem goes as follows:

As the dial hand tells o'er
The same hours it had before,

Still beginning in the ending,
Circular account still lending,

So, most mighty Queen we pray,
Like the dial day by day

You may lead the seasons on,
Making new when old are gone,

That the babe which now is young
And hath yet no use of tongue

Many a Shrovetide here may bow
To that empress I do now,

That the children of these lords,
Sitting at your council boards,

May be grave and aged seen
Of her that was their fathers' queen.

Once I wish this wish again,
Heaven subscribe it with "Amen".[3]

See also

References

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

To the Queen
by Alfred Tennyson
Information about this edition
March, 1851

Revered, beloved--O you that hold
   A nobler office upon earth
   Than arms, or power of brain, or birth
Could give the warrior kings of old,

Victoria,--since your Royal grace
   To one of less desert allows
   This laurel greener from the brows
Of him that utter'd nothing base;

And should your greatness, and the care
   That yokes with empire, yield you time
   To make demand of modern rhyme
If aught of ancient worth be there;

Then--while a sweeter music wakes,
   And thro' wild March the throstle calls,
   Where all about your palace-walls
The sun-lit almond-blossom shakes--

Take, Madam, this poor book of song;
   For tho' the faults were thick as dust
   In vacant chambers, I could trust
Your kindness. May you rule us long,

And leave us rulers of your blood
   As noble till the latest day!
   May children of our children say,
'She wrought her people lasting good;

'Her court was pure; her life serene;
   God gave her peace; her land reposed;
   A thousand claims to reverence closed
In her as Mother, Wife, and Queen;

'And statesmen at her council met
   Who knew the seasons when to take
   Occasion by the hand, and make
The bounds of freedom wider yet

'By shaping some august decree,
   Which kept her throne unshaken still,
   Broad-based upon her people's will,
And compass'd by the inviolate sea.'

March 1851
</poems>



PD-icon.svg This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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